Sunday, November 30, 2014

Early Christmas?!

Let's see what the cutest red head we know is up to!!

Hellooooo!! Howdy and Bonjour!

So, this week we had an amazing, once-in-a-mission-life-time experience to go into Paris for a conference to hear one of the apostles, Elder Cook, speak to us. We had all 280 missionaries there and it was incredible! We filled up an entire stake center. 

Elder Cook made a point of having everyone of us come up and shake his and his wife's hands. It was so incredible to have him, Elder and Sister Teixera (area president) and President and Soeur Babin there! I love the Babins so much. The meeting was in the first one I've had in English for a while and I was so touched to hear Soeur Babin speak to us in a language that is not her native tongue. I can't even begin to explain all that happened and was said in that meeting, but one of the things I absolutely loved that Elder Cook said was to, "Push your doubts into a corner for a while and one by one they will be delt with." He left us with a blessing that we would come to know just how "sentinal" our work is here. He said, "You are where you need to be. You will come to understand. All those that you love and will ever love are being blessed by your service." It was absolutely beautiful.

And, on our way back to our Gare, Soeur Hansen and I had the chance to see the Tour Eiffel! It was her three month mark that day and almost my six month mark. I still can't believe just how beautiful it is for Heavenly Father to have, figuratively, taken me by the hand and led me to this beautiful place of the world where I get to learn to love these people, serve these people and see some of the most breath-takingly gorgeous things that they've made. "A Whole New World" as Aladin would say. As I stood under the base, I looked up and it seemed as if I was standing at the center of the world. Thank you God. Thank you. 

We're so excited for this coming year's churchwide Christmas initiation! If you haven't heard about it yet, there's a website and a 30 second video that will be all over YouTube the 7th of December. "He is The Gift" is the title. (A preview is available November 25th at Check. It. Out!) I challenge you to share it with your friends and family on facebook, twitter email or whatever it is that you use! It will be awesome. And that means.....CHRISTMAS CAROLLING!!! I never thought I'd be so blessed to go christmas carolling for an entire month. Yes! I'm sooo excited to go house to house singing and sharing the wonderful message of the Savior this Christmas season. We are so, so blessed.

Last story for the week. We met this really neat lady named Patricia who's from Gabon. (Africa, if that's easier to find first). And we shared a Book of Mormon with her the first time we met with her. We invited her to read and when we came back, she DID! But not, like, just the intro. We asked her to tell us what she read and she started off with, "There was the prophet named Lehi who was commanded to leave Jerusalem...And his sons, Laman and, What's his name? (My reply, "Lemuel."), Yes, they began to complain about leaving..." About a minute later of her reccounting the exact storyline, my mouth was gaping wide open like a cod-fish (or whatever kind of fish that does that) and I asked her, "How Many Chapters did you READ??" She had just started and kept going! It was sooo cool to see her reading and to talk with her more about what she learned. She has such a beautiful story of healing and faith from an accident she'd been in several years ago. She knows that God loves her and that she is a walking miracle. 

Enjoy your Thanksgiving this week! There's so much to be grateful for--family, life, the opportunities we have to serve each other, and the blessing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! 

Meanwhile, we're already listening to Christmas :) Remember: "He is the Gift!"

Much love,
Soeur Hopkins

Bronte and her companions at the Tour Eiffel and on one of their adventures to pass-by a member who lives totally and completely out in the countryside!
Look what they found on the way home from church? A wagon parked out from of someone's home! Sleighride?

Bronte at the conference. Best picture she could get! There were so many people there!
And here's a picture with one of her most favorite people in the world--Soeur Taylor who's from England.

Well that's it for this week!
Lots of love,

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